Angels are all around us


by Val Conlon

The word "Angel” comes from the Greek "Angelos" which means ‘Messenger’.

They cannot be seen with our human vision as they are spirits, but they are always close by to help. Praying is a conversation directly with God, a way of having one's soul and mind united with Him. A person communes with the Angels when you pray and unite with them, in praise of God and in seeking His grace. Angels, by their nature, are active spirits. They are endowed with reason, will and knowledge. They are God’s special messengers and intercede with Him. They fulfil His will and praise Him for His compassion on mankind. They are incorporeal spirits and in general cannot be seen by human eyes.

However, St. John of Damascus writes, "When it is the will of God that Angels should appear to those who are worthy, they do not appear as they are in their essence, but are transformed and take on the appearance of humans so as to be visible to man’s eyes”. In the book of Tobias, the Angel accompanying Tobias and his son says of himself, "All of these days that I was visible to you, I neither ate nor drank and therefore only appeared to your eyes, as a man. (Tobit 12:19-20)

Angels in the Gospel
An Angel announced to Zechariah at the conception of St. John the Baptist. (Luke, 1:11-21)

An Angel announced to Mary to help prepare her for the conception of our Saviour and also very importantly, also went to St. Joseph in his sleep to explain Mary’s situation. 

Angels appear in clusters on great occasions, like the Birth of Christ, glorifying and singing His praises and also gave glad tidings to the shepherds to witness His birth.

Angels served Jesus in the desert during His temptations and an Angel supported Him in the garden of Gethsemane.Angel comforts Jesus

It was Angels that appeared to St. Mary of Magdala after His resurrection and told the Apostles of His Ascension into Heaven and of His second coming. (John 18:39)

It was an Angel that freed the Apostles from prison, as well as the Apostle Peter. (Acts 12:7)

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus tells us about the Angels carrying away the soul of the dead beggar Lazarus to the bosom of Abraham. (Luke 16:20)

Angels in Knock, Ireland
At the Apparitions of Our Lady in Knock, Angels appeared with the Holy Family, praising and glorifying the Risen Lamb in answer to Archdeacon Fr. Cavanagh’s plea, through the celebration of one hundred Masses, for forgiveness of the thousands who were dying during the Great Famine in Ireland without Last Rites and reconciliation with God. It was the Lamb of God who answered his plea, the resurrected Lamb, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the World.

Angels are Pure Spirits
We know very little about the nature of the Angels except that they are pure spirits. They always appear unexpectedly and disappear just as unexpectedly without telling us anything about their existence because, as with many things in the realm of spiritually and God, this knowledge is not necessary for our salvation. An Angel is a pure spirit created by God and exists as an individual being with an individual mind and free will, just like a human. But unlike humans, an Angel does not have a body, but can take on the form of a human in order that we can identify with them if God wills that they should appear to us

An Angel, being a pure spirit, is superior to man and used by God to intervene in many cases where your life is in danger or can intercede for you when you are about to make a wrong decision. They have many important duties on earth, such as protector and guardian, when people is striving towards living a good moral life. A pure spirit is not confined to a particular space on earth, or in the cosmos, for a spirit has no mass or matter. An Angel is not confined by time on earth like humans are, or to a time in history, for time is a measure devised by humans on earth.

God, we know, is eternal and Angels, as far as we know, are eternal, humans can, of course, be eternal also, if they follow the laws of God and accepts the help of their angels. Angels have knowledge which is far superior to humans and since the birth of Christ, unlike humans, they are incorruptible. The glory of Almighty God is the reason for the existence of Angels to carry out His will. And we also learn from the Angels themselves that they, in the fullness of their being, are as distinct from one another, as one human is from another.

When God made the Angels, He made each with a will that was supremely free. We know that the price of heaven is love of God. It is by making an act of love for God that a spirit, whether an Angel or a human soul, qualifies itself for Heaven.

Love of God must be proved in the only way in which love for God can be proved by an act of free will, which we demonstrate by an "act of obedience" or an act of loyalty to God. This is how the Angels qualify for everlasting union with God and this is how humans can enter into everlasting union with God which on earth we call "Heaven".

Saint Michael The Archangel
St. Michael the ArchangelSt. Michael has been invoked as patron and protector against all evil from the time of the Apostles. The Church places him over all the Angels, as Prince of the Seraphim’s. He is described as the "Chief of Princes" and as the leader of the good forces of Heaven in their battle against Satan and his followers. The prophet Daniel, the Apostle Jude and the book of Revelation mention the Archangel Michael (Joshua 5:13; Daniel 10:13 and 12:1; Jude verse 9; Revelation 12:7-8). The name ‘Michael’ in Hebrew means, “Who is like God?”. In the Scriptures, he is mentioned as the soldier of God and is depicted as the main fighter against evil and all who serve evil. Usually he is painted with a flaming sword in hand to describe his purpose.

Important Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel for Our Catholic Church
Glorious St. Michael, Guardian and Defender of the Church of Jesus Christ, come to the assistance of the Church, against which the powers of hell are today unleashing with extraordinary force. Guard with special care her hard working leader, the Pope, and obtain that for him and for us the hour of triumph may speedily arrive. O glorious St. Michael, watch over us during life, defend us against the assaults of the demons and assist us especially at the hour of death. Obtain for us a favourable judgment and the happiness of beholding God face to face for all eternity. Glorious St. Michael, intercede for me with God in all my necessities, especially (name them), and obtain for me a favourable outcome in the matter I now ask of you. O glorious Prince of the heavenly host, and victor over rebellious spirits, be mindful of me who am so weak and sinful and yet so prone to pride and ambition. Give me your powerful aid in every temptation and difficulty, and above all do not forsake me in my last struggle with the powers of evil. Amen.

Saint Gabriel, the Archangel
The name ‘Gabriel’ means “Strength of God”. Both the prophet Daniel and the evangelist Luke mention Archangel Gabriel. (Daniel 8:16, 9:21; Luke 1:19-26) The Archangel Gabriel first appeared in the Old Testament in the prophesies of Daniel, he announced the prophecy of seventy weeks to save the city. (Dn 9:21-27)
He appeared to Zechariah to announce the birth of St. John the Baptist. (Lk 1:11) It was also Archangel Gabriel who proclaimed the Annunciation of Mary to be the mother of our Lord and Saviour. (Lk 1:26) In the Scriptures, he is represented as the messenger of God's mysteries. In icons he is painted with a lily in his hand.

Intercession Prayer to St. Gabriel
O Blessed Archangel Gabriel, we beseech you, intercede for us at the throne of Mercy in our present necessities, that as you announced to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, so through your prayers and patronage in Heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen.

Prayer to St. Gabriel for others
O loving messenger of the Incarnation, descend upon all those for whom I wish peace and happiness. You, who announced the coming of the Infant Jesus. Spread your wings over the cradles of new-born babies, Give to the young a lily petal from the virginal sceptre in your hand. Cause the Ave Maria to re-echo in all hearts that they may find grace and joy through Mary. Amen.

Saint Raphael The Archangel
The angel Raphael first appeared in the book of Tobit. (Tb 3:25, 5:5-28, 6-12) The name ‘Raphael’ means “God has healed”. He announces "I am the Angel Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the throne of God."
Prayer to St. Raphael the Archangel (known as the angel of good health)

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of those who journey by land or sea, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners; I beg you to assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels.
And because you are the “Medicine of God”, I humbly pray to you to heal the many infirmities of my soul and all the ills which afflict my body, if it be for my greater good. I especially ask of you a favour (name it) and also the grace of angelic purity, which may help me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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